There are several haunted manor homes on the Isle of Wight, but the old bones of Appeldurcombe House are said to be one of the most haunted on the island.
The site was originally a Norman priory (circa 1100), and then a Tudor house, before the Worsley family began construction in 1701. The manor was not completed until 1772, and the Worsleys inhabited it only until the mid-1800s. It was subsequently a hotel, a school, and a Benedictine monastery until becoming unoccupied in 1909. In 1943, the home was hit with a German landmine, which demolished any hope of rehabilitating it to its former glory. English Heritage took over the site in 1952, and today, after some minor rehabilitation it is open to the public, and located just outside of the town of Wroxall up a lovely country road.
It’s good to know something of the Worsley history before the tour in order to appreciate the stories surrounding Appeldurcombe. One of the apparitions supposedly seen at Appeldurcombe is a monk, which fits with its early history as a priory. Sir Robert Worsley, the third baronet of Appeldurcombe tore down the original Norman building when he came into possession of the site in 1690.
In 1775 his descendant, Sir Richard Worsley, the seventh baronet of Appeldurcombe House, married Seymour Dorothy Fleming, a noblewoman with the much-needed wealth to supplement his title. Their marriage was not happy and it is rumored that Lady Seymour had 27 lovers. It is said that her ghost can be seen at Freemantle Gate, the old gatehouse, where she would meet for her illicit affairs.
According to the ticket office, the ghost of a monk has also been seen in the cellars of Appeldurcombe, which are usually open to the public. For those sensitive to such things, it’s worth a visit beneath the house. And even if ghost stories aren’t your thing, Appeldurcombe House is still a haunting ruin.